Job Search Nugget: Resume vs. LinkedIn

Written by David Marwick, KempMillJobAssist on . Posted in Advice Columns

Your resume and your LinkedIn profile are both intended to interest a potential employer in hiring you, or at least in interviewing you. Both recount your work experience, education, and related information. But they differ in four significant ways:

First, your resume should be tailored, or customized, to a specific job opening. In contrast, your LinkedIn profile should cover all of your relevant education and experience. 

 

Your resume should focus on the aspects of your education and experience that most closely align with an employer’s needs, as put forth in the job description. This means that you may need to revise your resume for each job vacancy. (See “How to Customize Your Resume” in the Dec. 28, 2017, issue for more on this topic.)

Second, your resume should be one or, at most, two pages. (See  “Resumes – Part 1 in the Dec. 14, 2017, issue for more on this topic.) In contrast, your LinkedIn profile is essentially a resume without space constraints. Of course, even though LinkedIn does not impose space constraints, you still need to make every word count.

Third, in your resume, you have control over how you portray promotions, or other changes, within one organization. In contrast, on LinkedIn, you cannot control that.

On LinkedIn, if you have been promoted, or otherwise moved within a company, each new position is portrayed as a stand-alone new job. Therefore, if you were promoted three times in 10 years within your company, it will appear that you had three different jobs. And, if an employer does not examine your resume carefully, you may appear to be a job-hopper.

In contrast, on your resume, there are two ways to make clear that you moved within the same company, which are illustrated in the nearby chart.

In Example 1, the company name and your total tenure there (highlighted in yellow) are underlined and bolded, so that time at each company is easy to distinguish from time at another company, while the dates of your stints within the company, although flush right, are not bolded.

In Example 2, your total tenure at the company (highlighted in yellow) is shown flush right, while the dates for your stints at jobs within the company are indented from the right. 

Looking like a job-hopper can turn off a potential employer, who may be reluctant to hire and train you for only a short stint. Either of the two approaches shown in the examples can help avoid this appearance.

Fourth, on LinkedIn you can attach documents, video clips, or other material. On your resume, while you cannot attach documents, you can provide useful links. For example, if your employer is not a household name, you can include a brief description of your employer’s business and the URL for its web site. Similarly, if you wrote a particularly noteworthy article, you can include the URL for the article.

Example 1

Grayson’s Furniture                                                                 Stores 2011-Present

Assistant General Manager, Jacksonville, FL ($35M sales/year)    2013-Present

Branch Manager, Charlotte, NC ($12M sales/year)                              2012-2013

Branch Manager, Fayetteville, NC ($7M sales/year)                            2011-2012

Promoted rapidly through series of increasingly responsible management positions, based on strong financial, operating, and team building performance.

Example 2

Grayson’s Furniture Stores                                                                 2011-Present

Assistant General Manager, Jacksonville, FL ($35M sales/year)    2013-Present

Branch Manager, Charlotte, NC ($12M sales/year)                              2012-2013

Branch Manager, Fayetteville, NC ($7M sales/year)                            2011-2012

Promoted rapidly through series of increasingly responsible management positions, based on strong financial, operating, and team building performance.

 

Bottom line: Your resume and LinkedIn profile both convey important information about your qualifications for a job, but to make the most efficient use of them, it’s helpful to know how they differ.

Questions about resumes?

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

By David Marwick, KempMillJobAssist

 David Marwick is KempMillJobAssist’s workshop coordinator. He studied economics at George Washington University and worked as an economist for George Washington University and the U.S. Government Accountability Office.